Brain Injury Prevention (Helmet Safety)

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a bump or blow to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. While not all bumps to the head result in a TBI, many do.

In fact, TBI is the No. 1 cause of both death and disability in children and young adults. Every day, more than 150 people in the United States die from injuries related to TBI, and those who survive can face effects that last a few days, or the rest of their lives.

  • Protect yourself with a helmet

    All sports and recreational activities involve a certain level of risk and those who participate in these activities are at a higher risk of being injured, including suffering a TBI. Luckily, you can reduce your risk of injury by wearing protective gear. Every year, we see brain injuries that could have been prevented or lessened if a properly fitted helmet had been worn.

    A properly fitted helmet will fit snuggly, one or two finger-widths above your eyebrow and should pull down on your head when you open your mouth wide. A helmet should not move or slip over your eyes when you nod your head. If your helmet moves easily, it either needs to be readjusted and tightened or you need a smaller helmet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers more tips.

    Centura Health partners with numerous community-based and government organizations to bring brain injury awareness and prevention programs to schools and advocates for sensible regulation and legislation. Our helmet programs in our local communities are designed to increase helmet usage — especially among children and young adults who participate in sports that have a risk of TBI.

  • Know the signs & symptoms of TBI

    The signs and symptoms of TBI can be subtle, so it’s important to know what to look for. Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following an injury.

    Common signs and symptoms of TBI include:

    • Headaches or neck pain that do not go away
    • Difficulty remembering, concentrating or making decisions
    • Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting or reading
    • Getting lost or easily confused
    • Feeling tired all the time, having no energy or motivation
    • Mood changes (feeling sad or angry for no reason)
    • Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping a lot more or having a hard time sleeping)
    • Lightheadedness, dizziness or loss of balance
    • Urge to vomit (nausea)
    • Increased sensitivity to lights, sounds or distractions
    • Blurred vision or eyes that tire easily
    • Loss of sense of smell or taste
    • Ringing in the ears
  • Expert concussion care

    Concussions can be tricky. Often, a person may not even be aware they have sustained a concussion. If you are experiencing continued or worsening symptoms after an injury or accident you may have a concussion and be experiencing what is called Post-Concussion Syndrome.

    Symptoms include:

    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Dalance or vision problems
    • Fatigue
    • Sadness
    • Irritability or trouble concentrating,

The good news is, help is available

Centura Health can help you find the treatment and care you need to recover and heal from a TBI or concussion. If you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered a concussion, don’t wait to get help. Call your doctor or visit an ER or urgent care near you right away. Don’t have a primary care doctor?